It’s no secret that acupuncture can help patients deal with chronic pain, and more. In a review of 29 studies, acupuncture relieved pain by about 50%. In fact, the 3,000-year-old healing technique of Traditional Chinese Medicine has even been endorsed as a treatment for at least two dozen conditions by the World Health Organization.

But what about children? Can acupuncture help kids and adolescents feel stronger, expedite their healing process, and help them deal with chronic pain?

Treating children’s chronic pain is difficult, because it’s subjective. A person is only able to express what he or she thinks is the level of pain. Because children may not be able to communicate effectively and accurately, finding an adequate chronic pain treatment can be difficult.

However, a new study suggests that acupuncture clinics can provide safe, effective treatments for children suffering from chronic pain.

Researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago observed 55 children and teenagers between the ages of seven and 20, each of whom experienced chronic pain. The patients received eight individually tailored acupuncture treatments, all of which lasted 30 minutes.

The study found that patients reported significant and progressive reductions in pain. In other words, the treatment not only helped relieve their pain, but with each and every passing session, became more and more effective.

That’s not all. The patients also found that acupuncture helped them in several other ways. They also felt a more general sense of well being, experiencing less emotional, educational, and social problems.

The study’s results are very promising, as chronic pain is a serious issue. It’s defined as a pain that lasts for at least 12 weeks, and is an issue that 20-35% of children around the world under 18 suffer from. The most frequent conditions that cause chronic pain include headaches, abdominal pain, back pain, musculoskeletal pain, scoliosis, leukemia, sport injuries, and Crohn’s disease.